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Wales make five changes for South Africa clash

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WALES have made five changes for their final Under Armour Series clash against South Africa at Principality Stadium on Saturday (December 2, KO 14.30).

Scarlets centre Hadleigh Parkes will make his debut with scrum half Aled Davies the other change in the back-line.

Parkes will partner Scott Williams in the centre with Davies lining up alongside Dan Biggar at half-back.  Leigh Halfpenny, Steff Evans and Hallam Amos feature in an unchanged back-three.

There are three changes in the pack with Kristian Dacey and Scott Andrews coming into the front row alongside Rob Evans. Second row Cory Hill packs down alongside captain Alun Wyn Jones and it is an unchanged back row of Aaron Shingler, Josh Navidi and Taulupe Faletau.

“Saturday is an opportunity to continue to build on what we have done so far and round off the autumn campaign with a big performance,” said Wales head coach Warren Gatland.

“We have spoken about exposing the squad to Test match rugby and this weekend is a great opportunity for Hadleigh to earn his first cap and for Aled to make his first start of the campaign.

“We have had a couple of knocks from last weekend, with Ken [Owens], Leon [Brown] and Jake [Ball] unavailable but that just provides an opportunity for Kristian, Scott and Cory to start.”

Elliot Dee, Wyn Jones and Rhodri Jones (who linked up with the squad on Monday) provide the front row cover. Seb Davies and Dan Lydiate complete the forward contingent.  Rhys Webb, Rhys Patchell and Owen Watkin are the back-line cover.

WALES TEAM TO PLAY SOUTH AFRICA (Saturday 2 December KO14:30)

  1. Leigh Halfpenny (Scarlets) (73 Caps)
  2. Hallam Amos (Dragons) (14 Caps)
  3. Scott Williams (Scarlets) (50 Caps)
  4. Hadleigh Parkes (Scarlets) (*UNCAPPED)
  5. Steff Evans (Scarlets) (4 Caps)
  6. Dan Biggar (Ospreys) (59 Caps)
  7. Aled Davies (Scarlets) (4 Caps)
  8. Rob Evans (Scarlets) (19 Caps)
  9. Kristian Dacey (Cardiff Blues) (7 Caps)
  10. Scott Andrews (Cardiff Blues) (13 Caps)
  11. Cory Hill (Dragons) (9 Caps)
  12. Alun Wyn Jones (CAPT) (Ospreys) (112 Caps)
  13. Aaron Shingler (Scarlets) (12 Caps)
  14. Josh Navidi (Cardiff Blues) (6 Caps)
  15. Taulupe Faletau (Bath) (69 Caps)

REPLACEMENTS:

  1. Elliot Dee (Dragons) (1 Cap)
  2. Wyn Jones (Scarlets) (4 Caps)
  3. Rhodri Jones (Ospreys) (15 Caps)
  4. Seb Davies (Cardiff Blues) (3 Caps)
  5. Dan Lydiate (Ospreys) (61 Caps)
  6. Rhys Webb (Ospreys) (30 Caps)
  7. Rhys Patchell (Scarlets) (4 Caps)
  8. Owen Watkin (Ospreys) (2 Caps)
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Sport

Under strength Raiders beaten

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By Sian Golden at Stebonheath Park

IF anything showed up the farcical registration rules inflicted by the RFL, it was Keighley’s club record win on Saturday (Sept 15).

Ordinarily a 112-6 rout would be celebrated, but West Wales were only able to field 12 fit players and after frustrating red and yellow cards, were down to 10 by the end of the game.

There are Welsh players who would have turned out, and perhaps the RFL should allow clubs to register community lads, who have never played professionally, to make up the numbers?

New Raiders coach Kim Williams arrives this week and his presence is much needed. It’s been a long season in Llanelli and, as plenty of arguing showed during the game, it’s a camp which needs a boost and fast.

Raiders held out for three minutes before Andy Gabriel caught Benn Hardcastle’s kick to score in the corner. Hardcastle converted.

Photo by Darren Harries

Cameron Leeming tore through the defence to ground the second try with another expert Hardcastle sideline kick.

A short kick-off led to the third as Dan Parker raced down the wing, the fourth came from a catch by Emmerson Whittell from a high kick by Hardcastle, who converted, before another short kick-off led to the fifth, this one scored by Ritchie Hawkyard and converted by Hardcastle.

Jose Kenga was next over, Leeming got his second, and James Feather scored a length of the field try. Three more Hardcastle goals made the score 46-0 on 25 minutes.

The biggest round of applause came on 33 minutes when Raiders finally broke their duck with an Alan Pope scramble to the line. Harrison Elliot converted.

There was still time for two more first half Cougars tries. Andy Gabriel was too fast for the Raiders defence, and Parker also raced over for his second. Hardcastle converted both. 58-6 at the interval.

Alfie Seeley scored the first try of the second half with Hardcastle converting, but that was before the game turned into more of a charade when Craig Lewis saw red for alleged backchat, this surely prompting Raiders’ chairman Andrew Thorne to tweet “As a chairman of a club of a club losing is hard to take but when you have 14 men on a pitch it’s an impossible task.”

Photo by Darren Harries

Hawkyard scored in the corner four minutes later with Hardcastle converting, and former South Wales Scorpion Billy Gaylor was next. Hardcastle missed the kick but got the next try, which he improved, before Chris Cullimore scored under the sticks, Hardcastle’s goal making it 86-6.

It was good work by Seeley, who weaved his way through the defence for his second, Hardcastle’s conversion bouncing in off the posts, but the game was to finish on 12 v 10 as the referee, who was evidently finding it tough to control the game, showed Hardcastle and Dalton Desmond-Walker yellow after a lengthy fight.

Gabriel claimed his hat-trick with Gaylor slicing the ball low under the sticks. Seeley sealed his hat-trick to take Cougars to 100 with Leeming also claiming his third. Gaylor, who was closer with his second conversion attempt, got this one over.

A length of the field Hawkyard try in the final minute gave him a triple and Gaylor’s goal brought down the curtain on the farce that Oscar Wilde would have been proud of writing.

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Sport

Draw made for Bowl second round

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THE draw for the second round of the WRU National Bowl has been made with a number of exciting ties to look forward to.

New Dock Stars’ reward for knocking out League 3 West A opponents Llangwm is another home tie against fellow League 3 West A side Llanybydder.

Former WRU Bowl Champions Amman United were given a walkover in the first round and they will be at home in the second round having been drawn to play South Gower.

Haverfordwest, who beat Pantyffynnon 69-5 on Saturday (Sept 15) have been rewarded with another home tie against Llangadog who won 50-14 away to Pontyates in their first round game.

Aberaeron, who beat Milford Haven in the first round, face a local derby with Lampeter Town who had a walkover against Pembroke Dock Quins in the first round.

Neyland, who had also had a walkover in the first round, have been given a home tie against Carmarthenshire side Cefneithin.

The two sides met in the same stage of last season’s competition and it was Cefneithin who came out on top on that occasion winning 25-3.

Laugharne have been drawn away to Trimsaran while Betws have also been drawn away to Cwmgors.

All matches will be played on Saturday, October 6.

Selected WRU Bowl second round fixtures:

Amman Utd v South Gower

Cardigan v Nantgaredig

Cwmgors v Betws (Ammanford)

Haverfordwest v Llangadog

Lampeter Town v Aberaeron

New Dock Stars v Llanybydder

Neyland v Cefneithin

Trimsaran v Laugharne

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Sport

Wanderers snatch late victory

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LLANELLI Wanderers earned their second win of the season on Saturday (Sept 15) as they beat Dunvant 22-19 thanks to a late try.

The powerful Dunvant pack helped their side to a 16-12 lead at half time but the Wanderers were still very much in the game.

Josh Leeds and Jordan Evans scored the tries for Llanelli while Rhydian Morgan added the rest of their first half points with the boot.

Dunvant held on to their lead in the second half as they defended well whenever the Wanderers came forward.

Photo by Darren Harries

However, with ten minutes to go the tables turned as the Wanderers cranked up the pressure even more.

Gruff Mathias, making his debut for the senior side having played in the youth team last season, went up for a Dunvant lineout and he knocked the ball down for Ryan Tovey who went on to score what would prove to be the winning try.

Morgan then added the extra two points and they were able to see the game out for an excellent win.

On Saturday (Sept 22), Llanelli Wanderers will look for another win when they take on Gorseinon away from home.

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